Mental health tops list of claims under Irish Life income plans

Company said it paid €53m in income protection claims in 2015

 Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg


Mental health topped the list of reasons for claims under Irish Life’s income protection plans last year, with cancer and back pain following close behind.

The company said it paid out more than €53 million in 2015 to more than 3,000 customers under its plans, with 19 per cent of claims paid out to those who were unable to work due to mental health. Back pain and musculoskeletal complaints came in second alongside claims for cancer at 14 per cent. Cardiac conditions accounted for 4 per cent of claims.

The data revealed that the average claimant age was 49 for men and 45 for women, with the average claim at €19,380 per year.

Irish Life said the data also showed a fall in the number of claims for both mental health and cancer, with the latter declining from 19 per cent in 2005 to 2009 compared with 14 per cent 2010 to 2015, and mental health claims down from 22 per cent to 19 per cent in the same period. That decline was mainly due to a fall in claims for women, with mental health dropping from 25 per cent to 18 per cent over the five year period. In contrast, male claims rose from 18 per cent in 2005 to 2009, to 21 per cent.